A luminous taxi top sign
Driving in a taxi in Tübingen at night

A taxicab, also known as a taxi or a cab, is a type of vehicle for hire with a driver, used by a single passenger or small group of passengers, often for a non-shared ride. A taxicab conveys passengers between locations of their choice. This differs from other modes of public transport where the pick-up and drop-off locations are determined by the service provider, not by the passenger, although demand responsive transport and share taxis provide a hybrid bus/taxi mode.

There are four distinct forms of taxicab, which can be identified by slightly differing terms in different countries:

  • Hackney carriages, also known as public hire, hailed or street taxis, licensed for hailing throughout communities
  • Private hire vehicles, also known as minicabs or private hire taxis, licensed for pre-booking only
  • Taxibuses, also come many variations throughout the developing countries as jitneys or jeepney, operating on pre-set routes typified by multiple stops and multiple independent passengers
  • Limousines, specialized vehicle licensed for operation by pre-booking

Although types of vehicles and methods of regulation, hiring, dispatching, and negotiating payment differ significantly from country to country, many common characteristics exist. Disputes over whether smartphone-based ride hailing services should be regulated as taxicabs has resulted in some jurisdictions creating a new classification called transportation network company.


Harry Nathaniel Allen of The New York Taxicab Company, who imported the first 600 gas-powered New York City taxicabs from France in 1907, borrowed the word "taxicab" from London, where the word was in use by early 1907.[1] "Taxicab" is a compound word formed from contractions of "taximeter" and "cabriolet". "Taximeter" is an adaptation of the German word taxameter, which was itself a variant of the earlier German word "Taxanom".[2] "Taxe" (pronounced tax-eh) is a German word meaning "tax", "charge", or "scale of charges".[3] The Medieval Latin word "taxa" also means tax or charge. "Taxi" may ultimately be attributed to τάξις from τάσσω[4] meaning "to place in a certain order" in Ancient Greek, as in commanding an orderly battle line,[5] or in ordaining the payment of taxes,[6] to the extent that ταξίδι (taxidi) now meaning "journey" in Greek initially denoted an orderly military march or campaign. Meter is from the Greek μέτρον (metron) meaning "measure".[7] A "cabriolet" is a type of horse-drawn carriage, from the French word "cabrioler" ("leap, caper"), from Italian "capriolare" ("to jump"), from Latin "capreolus" ("roebuck", "wild goat").

An alternative, folk-etymology holds that it was named for Franz von Taxis, a 16th-century postmaster for Philip of Burgundy, and his nephew Johann Baptiste von Taxis, General Postmaster for the Holy Roman Empire. Both instituted fast and reliable postal services (conveying letters not people) across Europe.[8]

The taxicabs of Paris were equipped with the first meters beginning on 9 March 1898. They were originally called taxamètres, then renamed taximètres on 17 October 1904.[9]

Other Languages
العربية: سيارة أجرة
aragonés: Taxi
asturianu: Taxi
azərbaycanca: Taksi
Bân-lâm-gú: Tha-khú-sih
беларуская: Таксі
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Таксі
български: Такси
català: Taxi
čeština: Taxi
Cymraeg: Tacsi
dansk: Taxi
Deutsch: Taxi
eesti: Takso
Ελληνικά: Ταξί
español: Taxi
Esperanto: Taksio
euskara: Taxi
فارسی: تاکسی
français: Taxi
Gaeilge: Tacsaí
galego: Taxi
贛語: 的士
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Kie-chhàng-chhâ
한국어: 택시
hrvatski: Taksi
Bahasa Indonesia: Taksi
italiano: Taxi
עברית: מונית
Jawa: Taksi
ქართული: ტაქსი
कॉशुर / کٲشُر: ٹیکسی
қазақша: Такси
Kiswahili: Teksi
Kreyòl ayisyen: Taksi
kurdî: Taksî
ລາວ: ຕັກຊີ
Latina: Taxiraeda
latviešu: Taksometrs
Lëtzebuergesch: Taxi
lietuvių: Taksi
lingála: Taksí
lumbaart: Tasì
magyar: Taxi
Bahasa Melayu: Teksi
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Gié-tiàng-chiă
Nederlands: Taxi (vervoer)
Nedersaksies: Taxi
नेपाली: ट्याक्सी
日本語: タクシー
norsk: Drosje
norsk nynorsk: Drosje
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Taksi
polski: Taksówka
português: Táxi
Qaraqalpaqsha: Taksi
română: Taximetru
русский: Такси
саха тыла: Такси
sardu: Taxi
Simple English: Taxi
slovenčina: Taxislužba
slovenščina: Taksi
Soomaaliga: Taksi
српски / srpski: Такси
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Taksi
Basa Sunda: Taksi
suomi: Taksi
svenska: Taxi
татарча/tatarça: Такси
тоҷикӣ: Таксӣ
Türkçe: Taksi
українська: Таксі
اردو: ٹیکسی
Tiếng Việt: Tắc xi
吴语: 差头
ייִדיש: טעקסי
粵語: 的士
中文: 出租車